24 November, 2020

Little Babus From Another World

A few good clerks do what was not done unto them. They help village schoolkids learn.

Little Babus From Another World
All clerks don’t play with red tape. Somewhere in the dull government offices of Mumbai is Madhukar Pawar and his bunch of 60 nondescript babus, with a curious claim to fame. They want to help, not hinder. They might spend their day poring over frayed cardboard files and typing in triplicate, but after five, a fascinating double life unfolds.

Over the last decade, they have helped 430 village schools and organised scholarships for 41 needy students in Ratnagiri district. In a land where the word ‘clerk’ only recalls the obstructionist, come-back-tomorrow genre of humanoids, Pawar and buddies are a rare species. They are The Little Babus That Do.

It all began when Pawar, a head clerk at a government hospital, went to his village in Ratnagiri for a summer break 15 years ago. He came across a bright young boy who was dropping out of school because his farm-hand parents could no longer afford the luxury of educating their son. "It set me thinking about the thousands of kids in our villages who never get a chance to make it," says Pawar. His own childhood school in the...



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